All of this to say, we think that maybe the Bazaar and the Night Market - two very crowded very public gatherings, the kind that are difficult to police in excruciating detail - were shut down due to 'safety precautions' but possibly as a way to continue curbing the goings on of the Uighurs and take away their traditions and culture. However, Turpan is one of the more Chinese-friendly of the Xinjiang cities; the officials are friendlier towards the locals and it's more easygoing, if you can believe it with police on every inch of ground. (Kashgar, for instance, is considered more of a problem and the government is a lot more hostile there towards the Uighurs. (Kashgar, incidently, was my favorite part of Xinjiang, but we will get there.)) But then again, I haven't been able to find anything about these events being permanently closed, so maybe we just happened to be there on a bad day. It sucks that we couldn't find these two fun events, and I really hope that we just couldn't find them, because it obviously would be much, much worse to be right that the Chinese government just up and decided to clamp down on the locals doing their thing.
So I have no idea what this restaurant was called, I'm sorry, but if you go to Turpan and ask the people where you are staying about the purple velvet booths I bet they know it. We had enough leftovers to eat for lunch the next day (no one stole them from the hostel fridge!). It seems I forgot to take a pic of the potato sticks, oh no, but just imagine fries with like, seeds?
The best part of Turpan, aside from the watermelon couple, was the bread babushka in the alley outside our hostel. She had a stand with the BEST breads I've had since my St. Petersburg babushka. Unfortunately, she wasn't out the day we left. Shame. Also I forgot to take a picture of her cart. Shame. Here is a picture of the rival bread man across the alley from her and much inferior.
So, Turpan Alley. That's really all I have to say about that. Some interesting sights but I didn't learn as much about the Silk Road as I did in Dunhuang or our later Silk Road sites (or as much I learned about Turpan from my books, which like...come on you should learn more at the actual site right! Otherwise people will never leave their couches! Ohh...couch...I miss you...). There are so many incredible places in China, lots we saw and lots we have still on our list, that I think this is really for Silk Road aficionados and not novices like me. I can recommend street bread and eating all the watermelon and grapes. Shout out to our watermelon friends.